Transportation
10:59 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Drug and alcohol-related car crashes rise in 2012

Michigan police arrested more drivers for being under the influence of alcohol and drugs in 2012 compared to 2011, according to a report released today by the Michigan State Police.

The study also shows more injuries and fatalities related to impaired driving. Last year, 342 drug and alcohol-related deaths were reported by state officers. In 2011, that number was 319.

Alcohol and/or drug-related deaths in the last five years, according to Michigan State Police's report.
Credit Michigan State Police / michigan.gov

But Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning spokesperson Anne Readette say those numbers are still much lower than they were five years ago.

“We are making long-term progress in both of those areas,” Readette said. “So big picture things are moving in the direction we want, but certainly not what we wanted to see on a year-to-year basis.”

Readette says the office would like to see more police patrols on the roads to prevent impaired driving. She says better officer training and substance abuse prevention programs could also make a difference.

“Certainly, detection may be helping to increase those numbers, but it’s certainly an area of growing concern in terms of its role in traffic deaths,” Readette said. “And it’s something that is also challenging because we know that these are wholly preventable deaths.”